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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Qana, Haditha, Jenin: Tragedy or Trickery?

UPDATE: REUTERS FIRES PHONY PHOTOGRAPHER!

Do Pictures Kill?
Phony Beirut "news" photo for Reuters raises new questions about Qana tragedy and "news" reporting in the Middle East fanning flames of violence against the West.

When news broke on Saturday that Reuters had pulled a photograph said to represent the scene in Beirut following an Israeli bombing, new questions have been raised regarding the veracity of "news" reporting from the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah as well as overall reporting of similar tragic events elsewhere in the region.

The photograph in question was an obvious fake. Note the many small puffs of smoke in the cloud in the Reuters announcement (full size image here, original published image here). These "smoke signals" as A Blog for All notes, should have been enough to alert the high priced professional talent at Reuters that they were dealing with a fake. The photographer, Adnan Hajj, was fired by Reuters.

Little Green Footballs, Flopping Aces, Hot Air and Michelle Malkin are all over the story and include multiple photos showing the how the fake compared to photographs of actual bomb damage in Beirut.

Fake Has Ties to Qana "Massacre"

But the obvious forgery of the above photograph only serves to raise new questions about the "news" of an Israeli "atrocity" at Qana the week before.

Adnan Hajj (whose other work can be seen here) also photographed the scene at right from Qana showing the body of a small girl being removed by the man known to millions as "Green Helmet" as he always seems to be on the scene of tragedy and yet none of these photo "journalists" have ever taken the time to ask his name for the caption.

Many other questions were not asked, nor answered at the site of the Qana tragedy. Reports that the building stood for seven hours after the Israeli strike against rocket launchers begs the question why those inside were not evacuated. And Red Cross reports confirm that the actual death toll was one half the nearly 60 reported one week ago.

Early on, EU Referendum began asking questions about what did happen at Qana and specifically they questioned the "news" photo documentation which was splashed all over front pages of newspapers throughout the world.

"News" organizations like the Associated Press instantly dismissed the questions raised by EU Referendum and others:
"It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor.

Carroll said in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described."

Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she said.

"Do you really think these people would risk their lives under Israeli shelling to set up a digging ceremony for dead Lebanese kids?" asked Patrick Baz, Mideast photo director for AFP. "I'm totally stunned by first the question, and I can't imagine that somebody would think something like that would have happened."
Little Green Footballs points out that the AP "news" photographer team at the scene in Qana was rewarded with a $500 bonus "For a day of outstanding a memorable photos."

We're now left wondering whether "someone sitting in an air-conditioned office.. many thousands of miles from the scene" has enough familiarity with what is happening on the ground to know when they, and the rest of us are being lied to?

Not The First Time This Has Happened

Last week Mike's America raised the subject of previous attempts by Islamic fanatics to manipulate public opinion through staged events and propaganda. If you haven't seen the film "Pallywood" which we link here, it will open your eyes.

It was exactly the tragic "news" reporting from the West Bank in Israel and the phony Jenin "massacre" where hundreds were said to have died and only 56 bodies found (more than half of whom were recognized by Human Rights Watch as combatants) that raises questions about the veracity of reports not just in Qana but also earlier at the scene of another alleged "massacre" this time by United States Marines at Haditha in Iraq.

Flopping Aces, Chicken Hawk Express and many, MANY others are have been connecting the dots and ask whether the reported "atrocity" in Haditha might be another of these fabricated "news" stories. Suspicion is doubly aroused when we learn that one of the chief witnesses from Haditha, a cameraman for REUTERS , also has ties to terrorists in Iraq.

More Dots Connected:
  • Old War Dogs has been making the rounds as well and has additional links here.
  • In contrast to the self-congratulatory backslapping at the United Nations for another useless resolution to bring peace to the Middle East, Ace of Spades gives the blog-world a high five instead for uncovering the schemes of pro-terrorist propagandists.
  • The Jawa Report goes into more background on photo "journalist" Adnan Hajj.
  • AJ Strata is making the scene as well.
  • Confederate Yankee has been widely cited in real news reports questioning the Qana "atrocity."
  • Publius Pundit shows what may pass next for" news" that Israel is striking only innocent children out to enjoy life and eat ice cream.

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